First Name of Patient (Phoebe our dog)
Breed (Golden Retriever/Shepherd mix)
Age at first symptoms (12?)
Year of first symptoms (2017)
Patient's Locality (Sparta, TN)
Did this patient survive? (We had her euthanized)
Was there an official medical diagnosis of Blastomycosis? (No but vet was 99.9% sure at the end)
How and where do you think this patient caught Blastomycosis? (On our property. old farm land.. Phoebe was a digger...)
We had boarded her out to attend a funeral. They called Friday January 27th and asked if she had ever had problems with her back leg because she was not putting any weight on it and seemed she seemed to be in pain.
When we picked her up on January 28th they had a hard time getting her up. She seemed completely different. She did not make eye contact. She just hung her head. I touched her left rear area and she flinched. Phoebe was a rescue dog and she had a large scar in that same location. The staff carried her to the car and we headed home. We decided to take her to the vet before we went home. She was not breathing right. The vet checked her leg and said he needed to take x-rays. Because it was so painful she had anesthesia. He called us in to look at the x-ray and you could see buck shot, shrapnel and old bone fragments.(seven year wound or older) The vet did not know how she was tolerating it. There was one area that looked odd. I can only describe it as gelatin looking for lack of better words. It did not look good. He ordered Tramadol and Carprofen. When we got her home we noticed she was high stepping and very cautious. I said "Gary, I don't think she can see". Then I later noticed her eye was blood red.
January 30th Monday we took her to the vet again. He gave her eye drops to keep the ocular pressure down.
February 1 Wednesday we saw an vet opthamologist. She did eye tests and sent out labs for a variety of tick diseases etc. She thought Phoebe was responding to some light in the good eye. She asked if Phoebe had been exposed to rat poison. She said Phoebe had internal bleeding and that had to be found in order to treat the eyes. She gave Phoebe prednisone eye drops, Tropicamide Opthalmic solution for eye dilation, and doxycycline for infection. She called my vet and told him Phoebe needed x-rays to be done.
February 2 Thursday Phoebe had x-rays. There was a large area cloudiness in the lung and stomach area. The doctor said he believed it was cancer. He mentioned Blasto in passing mentioning that it was a very expensive to treat. My husband asked if Phoebe was in pain and he said by the way she was breathing he thought so and increased tramadol to 4 times a day. He said we should consider the pain factor and that she was an older dog.
Went home and gave her the meds and thought she was going to get better. She had one good day and we saw the old Phoebe. Then her breathing changed and seemed more labored. She was obviously getting worse and could not see and was bumping into things. She tried getting up at times and just slid across our wood floor with her back end. She couldn't get up. When she was finally able to I took her outside to pee. She squatted, peed a long time, and laid herself straight out on the ground.
February 6th Monday we took her to the vet again. She had lost 3 pounds. By that time she had a couple of bleeding sores under her neck. They took a slide and it showed nothing. While in the office Phoebe starting coughing so deeply that it seemed to rack her whole being. The vet said if Phoebe did have blasto the tests would show positive the next day and the meds would work within 2-3 days. My husband felt that she was in too much pain to be put through those tests. He did not want to see her suffer anymore and told the vet to put her to sleep. (We had rescued Phoebe who had been abused..starved...shot.. and had been through many rough times.) The vet said she felt it was a good judgement call. We said good bye to her and told her we loved her. Our hearts are broken.
Cost of Treatment ($1200) Would have been lower but two office calls were considered emergency rates.